Dr. Marilynn G. Punaro Is the First Pediatric Rheumatologist to Receive the 2014 Patricia & William L. Watson Jr., MD Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine
Marilynn Punaro, MD, became fascinated with the immune system in medical school while studying rheumatology in the adult specialty of internal medicine. Since then, she has been active nationally, both as a member of professional societies and as an editor and reviewer of articles for the top professional journals for pediatric rheumatology.
The Watson Award was established in 2009, through a generous gift from University of Texas Southwestern alumnus Dr. William Watson and his wife, Patricia, to create an annual opportunity for the campus community to recognize a faculty physician who has had a profound impact on students, trainees, colleagues and patients through excellence in clinical care.
Those who know and work with Dr. Punaro praise her abilities as a clinician and diagnostician, as well as her compassion and loyalty toward her patients. Her own translational and clinical research is lauded by her colleagues and the medical community. For more than a decade, Dr. Punaro has been listed by her peers as both a “Texas Super Doctor” and one of the “Best Doctors in America.”
“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Dr. Punaro in a press release from the UT Southwestern Media Center. “Clinical medicine is a team endeavor, so I want to thank the team of extraordinary nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and other health professionals who work with me in an environment that supports clinical excellence by putting patients and families first.”
The Watson Award was presented to Dr. Punaro this fall in conjunction with the annual Watson Lecture, which is given by a national healthcare leader. The award is the highest clinical honor given by UT Southwestern and is bestowed upon an outstanding physician whose work exemplifies the medical center’s commitment to patient care.
Dr. Punaro received her undergraduate degree from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., and her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. In 1977, she went to Dallas for her internship and residency at the Children’s Medical Center, and then completed a fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center for her specialty training in pediatric rheumatology. Upon completion of her training in 1982, she joined the staff of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, and in 1996 she became a member of the UT Southwestern Medical Center faculty in the Department of Pediatrics.